Louisville, Kentucky native Miranda “Randi” Densford is passionate about her home state. Though she initially intended to work in kitchens, having received a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, she’s always been drawn to bartending and Kentucky’s history of Bourbon-making. In 2018 she was hired as brand ambassador and beverage manager for Bardstown Bourbon Co., deepening her love for Bourbon Country and crafting cocktails. After two years in this role, Densford had the opportunity to join the opening team of Barn8 Farm Restaurant & Bourbon Bar, the restaurant on Hermitage Farm in Goshen, Kentucky, which opened its doors in early 2020. “I was honored to be promoted from lead bartender to beverage director in early 2021,” Densford says. “Fueled by an unwavering passion for Barn8’s farm-to-table philosophy and commitment to seasonal ingredients, I strive to inspire both patrons and staff to embark on exciting cocktail experiences.”
The cocktail program at Barn8 highlights seasonality and the agricultural heritage of Kentucky, Densford adds. “With an emphasis on utilizing the produce and herbs grown on the 683-acre property that makes up Hermitage Farm, the cocktail list undergoes seasonal rotations,” she says. “And then of course there’s our extensive selection of over 170 Kentucky Bourbons.” In addition, Densford notes a deep commitment to minimizing waste, with many of her house-made cocktail ingredients coming from kitchen scraps that would typically be discarded.
Recent cocktails from the Barn8 menu (cocktails are $13-$20) include Densford’s House Old Fashioned ($13; recipe below) and her Cream of the Crop ($13; recipe below). “I take great pride in boldly embracing savory flavors within my beverage program,” Densford notes. “My role allows me such freedom to exercise my creativity and experiment with flavors, ingredients, and techniques to continually push the boundaries and craft unforgettable cocktails.”